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2004, R53 MINI Cooper S. (Pre-facelift)
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings Minitorque users.

The OEM Bilstines (shocks) in my (R53) Mini are about to kaput (die)...
I've been web-surfing for aftermarket options but hear is the problem.

Most product descriptions talk about lowering and improving handling which is all well and good;
but I'm primarily looking for better RIDE QUALITY since I daily my mini and live in a place with shity streets.

I think in order to accomplish this I need a high degree of adjustability;
i.e. being able to adjust spring tension (Spring rate) and ride height separately and compression and rebound separately.
Also a lower progressive spring rate than OEM.
Does anyone know what the OEM spring rate is?
FYI... I can't afford to drop 4K for air ride suspension.

Any suggestions on a spring and shock combo that might help me accomplish this
(having better ride quality)?
or should I just purchase a set of Koni Yellows and set them to their softest setting?

I was thinking maybe koni Yellows with a lower than OEM progressive spring...
Any thoughts?
 

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2004, R53 MINI Cooper S. (Pre-facelift)
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Wheels and tyres 1st....

what combo are you running?
Hello Alski...

Currently the car is sitting on 15" cast wheels wrapped with a shity chines tire.
(LOL, this is how I bought the car).
But, good news... A set of 2 piece 17" BBS R90's are on their way to my mail box as we speak and I'm thinking of wrapping them with Micheline sports 4s summer tires.
Since I live in the desert where its -4 degrees C 7 days of the year.

So that should help a ton, I presume.
 

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Surely, if all you want is ride quality the 15s would have been better as there is more tyre to absorb road bumps?
 

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2006 cooper S 221bhp
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794 Posts
I’m happy with my Tein street advance Z, swapping from bilstein B14 to those was a huge improvement, adjustable damping too, I’ve got them set about 1/2 way and they are maybe a little soft but still comfy

I’m certainly no expert and can’t help with spring rates etc but I’m just speaking from first hand experience of also driving ‘shitty roads’
 

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I’ve got them set about 1/2 way and they are maybe a little soft but still comfy ’
I've got the same shocks but find setting the damping mid way is far too soft, especially on the rear. It's like all the oil has leaked out and there's hardly any damping at all. It makes them really bouncy on really bad roads but not too bad on the main roads. I'm going to try winding on a bit more damping at the weekend to see if that cures it.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

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2004, R53 MINI Cooper S. (Pre-facelift)
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Surely, if all you want is ride quality the 15s would have been better as there is more tyre to absorb road bumps?
Sure...
But; you know... they're heavy and Rocking BBS's gives you street cred. 😅

I guess I want to improve the system as a hole, while prioritizing ride quality.
 

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2004, R53 MINI Cooper S. (Pre-facelift)
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I’m happy with my Tein street advance Z, swapping from bilstein B14 to those was a huge improvement, adjustable damping too, I’ve got them set about 1/2 way and they are maybe a little soft but still comfy

I’m certainly no expert and can’t help with spring rates etc but I’m just speaking from first hand experience of also driving ‘shitty roads’
Greetings Big Jim

I was looking at the technical data sheet for the B14s and Bilstein for what ever reason decided to include every piece of data under the sun except for their spring rate.
(info. chart for front axel. below)
they only call out max load which is 890kg.
With a little math we can calculate the spring rate.
= 890kg / (210mm - (5.25*11.75mm))
=890kg / 148.31mm
=6kg/mm (B14 Spring rate)


The TEIN street advance Zs don't seam to be offered for MINIs but the product seams to have a spring rate of 7kg/mm
so if your noticing better ride quality (with the TIEN) it probably means
rebound and compression are more heavily damped on the b14s within the shock,
since they (B14s) seam to have a softer spring rate (6kg/mm).

why did you swap out your B14s, were they leaking?


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2004, R53 MINI Cooper S. (Pre-facelift)
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And goes against your (self professed) priority role. ;)
I never claimed not to be a hypocrite... 😅

so let me ask you this,
now that I've made my ride worse with bigger wheels,
what can I do to make it better? 😅
 

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Premium Member
2006 cooper S 221bhp
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794 Posts
I've got the same shocks but find setting the damping mid way is far too soft, especially on the rear. It's like all the oil has leaked out and there's hardly any damping at all. It makes them really bouncy on really bad roads but not too bad on the main roads. I'm going to try winding on a bit more damping at the weekend to see if that cures it.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
im going to actually agree with you on that, the back can feel a bit bouncy at times but it’s much better than the jarring ride I got from the B14s, I wouldn’t mind winding mine on a bit to see if it makes a difference but I don’t have the skills (or tools) to drop the rear suspension to get to the adjusters, kind of wish I’d have put those wire adjusters through to the boot now really

carsorbikes is having the car at some point to do the adjustable front top mounts for me so while it’s there he can have the pleasure of dropping the rears for me!

BETO: I swapped the bilsteins as the ride was horrendous for everyday use on my purely road car, also one of the adjustment rings was seized so it was stuck at quite a low height, when fitted to my first R53 they were ok but on my current one it was causing driveshaft judder so that was also a reason to get shut
 
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